Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Are You Healthy? (No, really healthy)

If you ever are coached by me, the first thing I'll tell you is the number one thing I care about is your health.  Just because you can do an Ironman, marathon, or go very fast doesn't mean you are healthy.  For example, right now I am very fit... and also fat.  Just because I can do certain exercises pretty well (swim and bike right now) doesn't mean I'm healthy. 

Look at any triathlon or running race.  Instead of whole foods we eat manufactured "energy bars" and gels.  Why not take an apple sauce with cinnamon before a race instead of a gel?  That's what I do.  Try it.  It works. 

Look, I'm not saying I'm perfect.  I can put down a Five Guys burger like anyone else and really enjoy it. (I am changing my diet and phasing out red meat completely 99.99% of the time.)  What I'm saying is, THINK about what you are doing. 

We really take our good health for granted until its gone.

I have a very close friend who just had breast cancer surgery, another great friend (and possibly distant in-law) has been forced into early "retirement" from Ironman due to lupus, and my dad has been in ICU for 14 days now with a machine helping him breathe.  The one thing that glares at me every step I take to coach someone one on one or to the day job which pays the bills until I can coach full time - people take shortcuts regarding our health.  What would any of those people do to have their health back?  My guess... a freakin' lot.

TRY.  Just TRY to walk downtown Chicago from the train stations to any office building and it is a "hypoxic" walk.  I hold my breath more walking than I do during hypoxia sets in the pool (cigarette smoke).  Smokers piss me off.  They smell bad, are often cranky and filthy.  Flicking cig butts into the street, river, or anywhere except where they are supposed to be.  Then we see people walking with crappy fast food during lunch - expensive and bad for you - the daily double. 

Please wear sun screen.  I always have and I still have some things on my arm that I'm getting checked again and again as melanoma is a real concern when you are outside as much as we are.  It makes me cringe at the thought of a pro triathlete who I am acquaintances with who looked like raw meat off a grill in Kona last year.  We became acquaintances after I penalized an amateur who was blocking her and she ran into/found me after the race to say 'thank you' for keeping the age group men "off" her on the bike.  I'll never forget the color of her skin - deep red.  Like seared Ahi tuna.  Gives me the willies just thinking about it.  It had to be painful.  She went 9 hours and something in Kona... sunburned so badly... no, not healthy.

Seared Ahi tuna FRESH from the Pacific Ocean... If your skin looks like this... is that healthy? NO!  You are just DUMB.
 What is interesting... is that many of these folks are the person next to you in the gym.  That means "those people" are us.  "Athletes"

What are you doing? 

1 comment:

  1. Ah... it's like "if I knew then what I know now". After 8 years of "dedicated" endurance sports outside, I've got some nice discoloration under my eyes. Had it looked at and all is ok, but now I'm more aware of throwing on sunscreen for a day run or bike. Hoping some skin products can remove the discoloration since my job is to meet and greet people... and it's not like a nice even tan. It's distracting. Young people, pay heed!